Schwartzel: 15th hole a “beast”

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Masters champ Charl Schwartzel reckons the field faces a very tough challenge at Atlanta Athletic Club’s 15th hole.

Masters champ Charl Schwartzel reckons the field faces a very tough challenge at Atlanta Athletic Club’s 15th hole.

Masters champ Charl Schwartzel reckons the USPGA Championship field faces a very tough challenge at Atlanta Athletic Club’s 15th hole.

The hole is an intimidating 260-yard par-three, and forms part of a challenging closing stretch on the 7467-yard par-70 course.

Though eventual winner David Toms managed a hole-in-one at the 15th the last time the PGA Championship was played here in 2001, Schwartzel reckons even a bogey would be a pretty good score this year.

“Is that a par 3? I thought it was a par 4!” he said.

“What can you say? It’s just a beast of a hole. It’s long. It’s actually quite a small green from that sort of distance.

“(In practice) We played off the back. The flag was in the front. I hit a 3-iron out of my shoes and it just flew to the front edge.”

Though the fact that the hole plays downhill does provide somewhat of an advantage, more danger awaits in the form of a large pond to the right of, and behind, the green, and Schwartzel believes it will claim many victims.

“It’s going to be a tough hole. I don’t think you’re going to be too disappointed if you walk off with a 4.

“It’s going to be just one of those holes where there’s no bail-out. You’ve just got to get down and commit to it. It’s going to be the same for everyone that plays it.”

Schwartzel, meanwhile, is confident about his chances this week on the back of some solid major performances this year. Outside of his stunning victory at Augusta, he also finished ninth in the US Open and 16th in the Open.

“I’ve been feeling really comfortable in the majors,” added the 26-year-old. “Every week I’ve been there, my game has been good.

“After the win at the Masters, I just feel like every time I enter one of these major championships that I can compete in them and get a win out of them. I’ve played much better.”

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